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volunteers

SAINT volunteers deliver organic veg and flowers to foodbank

Volunteers from VODA’s SAINT project – which stands for Social Action in North Tyneside – recently made their first delivery of organic, home-grown fruit, vegetables and flowers to The Bay Foodbank in North Shields.

The volunteers have been looking after a plot in Whitley Bay Community Allotment for several months now, transforming the soil, decorating the site and planting and growing a range of produce including potatoes, onions, lettuce and wildflowers, grown with seeds donated by Grow Wild.

On receiving the donation, Jackie Dickinson, Foodbank Manager at The Bay Foodbank said: “Thank you so much to VODA and Whitley Bay Community Allotment for the lovely donations this morning! It really does help to put fresh produce in the parcels.” Based on the Meadow Well estate in North Shields, The Bay has been providing emergency food provision to individuals or families experiencing a financial crisis since 2012.

SAINT volunteers meet weekly at the community allotment and are currently growing more produce including broccoli, courgettes, beetroot and carrots, all of which will be donated back in to the community.

SAINT volunteer Jason said: “Since coming to the allotment we have completely changed our plot. It was really overgrown when we got it, so we have de-weeded it, turned all the soil and dug out all of the stones. It’s been amazing to see everything grow, all of our hard work is paying off and it’s really important to us that the things we produce are given back to the community through The Bay Foodbank.”

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Good Neighbours volunteers visit Tynemouth Lifeboat Station

Volunteers from our Good Neighbours project recently enjoyed a visit to Tynemouth RNLI Lifeboat Station, to learn all about the local rescue service and its fascinating history.

The volunteers, who give up their time to support people in the North Tyneside community with small household jobs, basic DIY, shopping and running errands, usually meet monthly at VODA’s offices to discuss their roles, share experiences and receive training and support. But Ian Brigstock, who coordinates the Good Neighbours project, wanted to give something back to the volunteers themselves and get them out and about in the community. “Our volunteers really deserve some recognition and reward for what they do – they support some of the borough’s most vulnerable people with day-to-day tasks and that makes such a difference. Arranging this visit was just our way of saying ‘thank you.’  We’re really grateful to Tynemouth RNLI too for what was a fascinating visit and we’re looking forward to arranging similar visits over the coming months.”

Volunteer Debbie Wood said: “I really enjoyed going down to Tynemouth RNLI with a really nice group of people. We had a talk from one of the lifeboat volunteers about the work they do and the lives they safe. We also got to see the inshore and all-weather boat and try on the life jackets – there’s a picture of me wearing one!”

The Good Neighbours project is looking for more volunteers – this is a great, flexible volunteering opportunity to help people in your local community. Training and support are provided. Read more about the project here.

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